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Wednesday 17 August 2016

Reality of Clearing

A-level results day is almost here! Whether you’re excited, nervous or confused about what happens next, just remember…don’t panic!

There’s no need to rush and make snap decisions; when you choose your university it needs to be right for you – you’ll be there for at least three years.

If you don’t know what to do with your results, contact university Clearing teams who can help, support and advise you.

At Solent, our Clearing team is made up of staff and students, some who have been through Clearing themselves.

We caught up with five students who went through Clearing last year and will be manning the phones to help those getting their results tomorrow.

Malika Peterkin, 19, is studying BA (Hons) Business Management; Bisi Oyerinde, 19, is on BA (Hons) Events Management; Lewis Carey, 21, LLB (Hons), and Cody Pick, 19, and Alfie Dedman, 19, are both on BA (Hons) Popular Music Performance.

L-R: Malika, Bisi, Alfie, Cody and Lewis

What was results day like for you?

Malika: When my grades came through, my university didn’t reject or accept me and I was really worried. I called up lots of places frantically because I thought I hadn’t got in. Ultimately I came to Southampton Solent and I actually liked it better than my firm choice, so ended up rejecting that place and coming here to Southampton.

Bisi: I wasn’t planning on going to university last year, but changed my mind at the last minute. It was only about two weeks before Solent started; I called the Clearing hotline and, even though I didn’t expect them to say yes, I thought it was worth a call. They helped me through the whole process – what to do, who to call etc. – and they said yes! The person on the phone was really nice and friendly.

Lewis: I messed up a bit as I didn’t do very well in my A-levels, so I didn’t check the UCAS website and see that I had an offer from Solent. The offer expired, but on the day it expired they emailed me and I rang up and went through Clearing – they sorted it out for me and helped me speak to everyone I needed to, which was great.

Cody: I actually never really wanted to go to university and my grades kind of showed that. At the start of September I changed my mind and decided to see what courses there were performance wise; I wanted to move further south so I looked up Solent and what they were like and saw they had a lot of facilities and a lot to offer.

Bisi Oyerinde went through Clearing and is now helping others

How did you find the Clearing process?

Cody: When you’re going through it, it seems like it’s forever and seems stressful, but when it’s all over and you look back and realise it actually only takes a few days to get everything sorted and everyone was so helpful.

Malika: It was actually really simple; I thought it would be hard finding accommodation and getting my place here, but it was really simple. The people speaking to me were really nice, friendly and welcoming. When I was speaking to another university, they were putting me on hold a lot and couldn’t seem to help me with what I wanted.

Alfie: It was quite easy; I went to my college and spoke with someone who recommended Solent to me, so I phoned them up and they told me I had a provisional place and all I had to do was come and authenticate my certificates.

Alfie Dedman

Why are you working on the hotline this year?

Bisi: I’ve been in that place where you are panicking that you are never going to get to university, so when I speak to someone on the phone I can say ‘don’t worry, I’ve been through that as well, it’s easy and the chances of you getting in are quite high’.

Malika: I want to help out other people who are in the same situation as I was in.

Malika Peterkin

What’s your top tips for those getting their results?

Lewis: Keep calm; it doesn’t matter what grade you get just remember to check it! And it’s always worth ringing up your university of choice to see if they’ve got a place for you.

Alfie: It’s not too late no matter how late you apply. The things that came into my head were things that didn’t really matter, like how much money I was going to need, when in reality I was just going to sort that out no matter what.

Malika: Keep calm, and make sure you have all your information, like grades and your UCAS information on you.

Bisi: It’s never too late to apply; if you have any worries just call and ask – asking is better than not trying at all.

Cody: Try to stay calm, you’ve done everything you can when doing your exams, you can’t really change that. If you don’t get what you expected there’s still somewhere/something for you.

Cody Pick

What do you love about Solent?

Bisi: It’s very practical; a lot of my friends at other universities aren’t sure what they will do when they finish, but I feel like Solent, especially my course, really help you to get the contacts, the job, the experience – which is probably more important than anything; it’s getting you real-life experience.

Lewis: The staff on my course are really friendly and helpful; you can go to their office whenever. Ive been there the day before a deadline really panicking, they sit you down and go through everything trying to help you, and you know that they’ve got your best interest in mind.

Malika: The people – because of the range of courses here, there’s a lot of people from different backgrounds, and they are very accepting. It’s very social and bubbly and I feel like everyone is friendly and welcoming.

Cody: You sometimes see different universities saying they’ll do this or that for you, but Solent seems like the only place where they actually follow through with that. When they say they are going to be helpful they really are, they always put the student first.

Lewis Carey

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Get more information and advice on Clearing